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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee - 06/05/2016 - Estimates - DEFENCE PORTFOLIO

DEFENCE PORTFOLIO

In Attendance

Senator Payne, Minister for Defence

Department of Defence

Mr Dennis Richardson AO, Secretary

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, Chief of the Defence Force

Outcome 1—The protection and advancement of Australia ' s national interests through the provision of military capabilities and promotion of security and stability.

Program 1.1: Office of the Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force

Mr Dennis Richardson AO, Secretary

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, Chief of the Defence Force

Brigadier James Gaynor, Deputy Inspector General Australian Defence Force

Mr Peter Baxter, Deputy Secretary Strategic Policy and Intelligence

Air Commodore Henrik Elhers, AM, Director General Cultural Reviews Response

Program 1.2: Navy Capabilities

   Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO CSC RAN, Chief of Navy

Program 1.3: Army Capabilities

   Lieutenant General Angus Campbell DSC, AM, Chief of Army

Program 1.4: Air Force Capabilities

Air Marshal Gavin Davies, AO, CSC, Chief of Air Force

Air Vice Marshal Warren McDonald, AM, CSC, Deputy Chief of Air Force

Program 1.5: Joint Operations Command

   Major General John Frewen, AM, Head Military Strategic Commitments

Program 1.6: Intelligence Capabilities

   Mr Peter Baxter, Deputy Secretary Strategic Policy and Intelligence

Program 1.7: Vice-Chief of the Defence Force

Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, Vice Chief of the Defence Force,

Major General David Mulhall, AM, CSC, Commander Joint Logistics

Air Vice Marshal Tracy Smart, Commander Joint Health

Program 1.8: Associate Secretary-Defence Executive Support

Mr Brendan Sargeant, Associate Secretary

Mr Mark Cunliffe, Head Defence Legal

Mr Michael Lysewycz, Defence Special Counsel

Mr Geoffrey Brown, OAM, First Assistant Secretary Audit and Fraud Control

Program 1.9: Associate Secretary-Estate and Infrastructure

Mr Steve Grzeskowiak, Deputy Secretary Estate and Infrastructure

Ms Alison Clifton, Assistant Secretary Environment and Engineering

Dr Mathew Klein, Senior Physician Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Program 1.10: Associate Secretary-Chief Information Officer

   Mr Mohan Aiyaswami, Chief Technology Officer

Program 1.11: Associate Secretary- Defence People

Ms Rebecca Skinner, Deputy Secretary Defence People

Mr Richard Oliver, First Assistant Secretary People Services

Rear Admiral Brett Wolski, Head People Capability

Ms Justine Greig, First Assistant Secretary People Policy and Culture

Program 1.12: Defence Science and Technology

Dr Alex Zelinsky, Chief Defence Scientist

Program 1.14: Chief Finance Officer

Mr Phillip Prior, Chief Finance Officer

Program 1.15: Defence Force Superannuation Benefits

Ms Rebecca Skinner, Deputy Secretary Defence People

Mr Richard Oliver, First Assistant Secretary People Services

Mr Phillip Prior, Chief Finance Officer

Program 1.16: Defence Force Superannuation Nominal Interest

Ms Rebecca Skinner, Deputy Secretary Defence People

Mr Richard Oliver, First Assistant Secretary People Services

Mr Phillip Prior, Chief Finance Officer

Program 1.17: Housing Assistance

   Mr Steve Grzeskowiak, Deputy Secretary Estate and Infrastructure

Program 1.18: Other administered

Outcome 2—The advancement of Australia ' s strategic interests through the conduct of military operations and other tasks as directed by Government.

Program 2.1: Operations contributing to the security of the immediate neighbourhood

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, Chief of the Defence Force

Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, Vice Chief of the Defence Force

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO CSC RAN, Chief of Navy

Air Marshal Gavin Davies, AO, CSC, Chief of Air Force

Major General John Frewen, AM, Head Military Strategic Commitments

Program 2.2: Operations supporting wider interests

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, Chief of the Defence Force

Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, Vice Chief of the Defence Force

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO CSC RAN, Chief of Navy

Air Marshal Gavin Davies, AO, CSC, Chief of Air Force

Major General John Frewen, AM, Head Military Strategic Commitments

Outcome 3—Support to the Australian community and civilian authorities as requested by Government.

Program 3.1: Defence contribution to national support tasks in Australia

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, Chief of the Defence Force

Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, Vice Chief of the Defence Force

Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO CSC RAN, Chief of Navy

Air Marshal Gavin Davies, AO, CSC, Chief of Air Force

Major General John Frewen, AM, Head Military Strategic Commitments

Capability, Acquisition and Sustainment Group

Outcome 1—Contributing to the preparedness of the Australian Defence Organisation through acquisition and through-life support of military equipment and supplies.

Mr Kim Gillis, Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group

Air Vice Marshal Leigh Gordon, AM, CSM, Program Manager Joint Strike Fighter

Rear Admiral Greg Sammut, CSC, RAN, Head Future Submarine Program

Rear Admiral Adam Grunsell, Deputy Head Maritime Systems

Major General David Coghlan, Head Land Systems

Rear Admiral Tony Dalton, Head Joint Systems

Air Commodore Cath Roberts, CSC, Head Aerospace Systems

Major General Andrew Mathewson, AM, Head Helicopter Systems

Mr Peter Croser, Acting General Manager Ships

Mr Greg Divall, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Business Manager

Mr Paddy Fitzpatrick, Assistant Secretary Future Frigates

Commodore Craig Bourke, CSC, Director General Air Warfare Destroyer

Ms Liesl O'Meara, First Assistant Secretary Commercial and General Counsel

Ms Angela Diamond, Chief Finance Officer, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group

Defence Housing Australia

Ms Jan Mason, Acting Managing Director

Ms Madeline Dermatossian, Chief Operating Officer

Mr Jon Brocklehurst, Chief Financial Officer/Head of Corporate Services

Ms Jo Abbot, General Manager Finance

Mr Elvio Bechelli, General Manager, Portfolio Management, Marketing and Strategic Projects

Mr Brett Jorgensen, General Manager, Property and Tenancy Services

Mr John Dietz, General Manager, Property Provisioning Group

Mr Shane Nielsen, General Manager, Business Enablement

Mr Vern Gallagher, General Manager, Strategy and Innovation

Mr Robert Henman, General Manager, Investment Management

Mr Steve Collins, General Manager, Business Development Unit

Mr James Wallace, Regional Manager Development

Department of Veterans ' Affairs

Mr Simon Lewis, PSM, Secretary

Mr Craig Orme, DSC AM CSC, Chief Operating Officer (acting)

Mr John Geary, Deputy President (acting)

Corporate and general matters

Mr Simon Lewis, PSM, Secretary

Mr Craig Orme, DSC AM CSC, Chief Operating Officer (acting)

Mr John Geary, Deputy President (acting)

Major General Mark Kelly, AO, DSC, Repatriation Commissioner

Dr Ian Gardner, Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Stephanie Hodson, National Manager, Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service

Dr Loretta Poerio, Assistant National Manager, Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service

Ms Carolyn Spiers, Assistant Secretary/Principal Legal Advisor, Legal Services, Assurance and Deregulation Branch

Ms Lisa Foreman, First Assistant Secretary, Rehabilitation and Support Division

Mr Neil Bayles, Assistant Secretary, Rehabilitation, Case Escalation and MRCA Review

Mr Mark Harrigan, Assistant Secretary, Policy Support Branch

Mr Richard Magor, Assistant Secretary, Income Support and Grants Branch

Mr John Sadeik, Assistant Secretary, Programme Support Branch

Ms Sue Campion, First Assistant Secretary, Health and Community Services Division

Mr Alex Gerrick, Assistant Secretary, Business Reform and Defence Relations Branch

Ms Leonie Mack, Assistant Secretary, Anzac Centenary and Communications Branch

Mr Ken Corke, Director, Office of Australian War Graves

Mr Ian Fletcher, Executive Director, Overseas Projects

Ms Narelle Dotta, First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Division

Mr Graeme Rochow, Assistant Secretary/Chief Finance Officer, Resources Branch

Mrs Robyn Kemp, Assistant Secretary, Parliamentary and Governance Branch

Mr Shane McLeod, Assistant Secretary/CIO, ICT Solutions Branch

Mr Roger Winzenberg, Assistant Secretary, People Services Branch

Outcome 1—Maintain and enhance the financial wellbeing and self-sufficiency of eligible persons and their dependants through access to income support, compensation, and other support services, including advice and information about entitlements

Program 1.1—Veterans ' income support and allowances

Program 1.2: Veterans ' disability support

Program 1.3: Assistance to Defence widow/ers and dependants

Program 1.4: Assistance and other compensation for veterans and dependants

Program 1.5: Veterans ' Children Education Scheme

Program 1.6: Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Acts—income support and compensation

Program 1.7: Adjustments to the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Acts liability provisions—income support and compensation

Mr Simon Lewis, PSM, Secretary

Mr Craig Orme, DSC AM CSC, Chief Operating Officer (acting)

Mr John Geary, Deputy President (acting)

Ms Lisa Foreman, First Assistant Secretary, Rehabilitation and Support Division

Mr Mark Harrigan, Assistant Secretary, Policy Support Branch

Mr Richard Magor, Assistant Secretary, Income Support and Grants Branch

Mr Neil Bayles, Assistant Secretary, Rehabilitation, Case Escalation and MRCA Review

Mr John Sadeik, Assistant Secretary, Programme Support Branch

Ms Sue Campion, First Assistant Secretary, Health and Community Services Division

Mr John Fely, Assistant Secretary, Procurement and Contract Management Branch

Mr Alex Gerrick, Assistant Secretary, Business Reform and Defence Relations Branch

Ms Carolyn Spiers, Assistant Secretary/Principal Legal Adviser, Legal Services, Assurance and Deregulation Branch

Outcome 2—Maintain and enhance the physical wellbeing and quality of life of eligible persons and their dependents through health and other care services that promote early intervention, prevention and treatment, including advice and information about health service entitlements

Program 2.1—General medical consultations and services

Program 2.2: Veterans ' hospital services

Program 2.3: Veterans ' pharmaceutical benefits

Program 2.4: Veterans ' community care and support

Program 2.5: Veterans ' counselling and other health services

Program 2.6: Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Acts—health and other care services

Program 2.7: Adjustment to the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Acts liability provisions—health other care services

Mr Simon Lewis, PSM, Secretary

Mr Craig Orme, DSC AM CSC, Chief Operating Officer (acting)

Mr John Geary, Deputy President (acting)

Major General Mark Kelly, AO DSC, Repatriation Commissioner

Dr Ian Gardner, Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Stephanie Hodson, Acting National Manager, Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service

Dr Loretta Poerio, Assistant National Manager, Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service

Ms Sue Campion, First Assistant Secretary, Health and Community Services Division

Ms Veronica Hancock, Assistant Secretary, Mental and Social Health Branch

Ms Letitia Hope, Assistant Secretary, Programme Management Branch

Mr John Fely, Assistant Secretary, Procurement and Contract Management Branch

Ms Alison Hale, Acting Assistant Secretary, Policy Branch

Ms Lisa Foreman, First Assistant Secretary, Rehabilitation and Support Division

Mr Richard Magor, Assistant Secretary, Income Support and Grants Branch

Mr John Sadeik, Assistant Secretary, Programme Support Branch

Ms Carolyn Spiers, Assistant Secretary/Principal Legal Adviser, Legal Services, Assurance and Deregulation Branch

Mr Mark Harrigan, Assistant Secretary, Policy Support Branch

Ms Maralyn Newman, Acting Assistant Secretary, Health and Community Services Division

Outcome 3—Acknowledgement and commemoration of those who served Australia and its allies in wars, conflicts and peace operations though promoting recognition of service and sacrifice, preservation of Australia ' s wartime heritage, and official commemorations

Program Branch 3.1—War graves and commemorations

Program 3.2: Gallipoli related activities

Mr Simon Lewis, PSM, Secretary

Mr Craig Orme, DSC AM CSC, Chief Operating Officer (acting)

Mr John Geary, Deputy President (acting)

Major General Mark Kelly, AO DSC, Repatriation Commissioner

Ms Leonie Mack, Assistant Secretary, Anzac Centenary and Communications Branch

Mr Ken Corke, Director, Office of Australian War Graves

Mr Ian Fletcher, Executive Director, Overseas Projects

Ms Avril Kent, Acting Assistant Secretary, Commemorations Branch

Mr Matthew McKeon, Director Gallipoli and Strategy, Commemorations Branch

Ms Carolyn Spiers, Assistant Secretary/Principal Legal Adviser, Legal Services, Assurance and Deregulation Branch

Committee met at 09:00

CHAIR ( Senator Back ): I declare open this hearing of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee. The committee's proceedings today will begin with its examination of the Department of Defence until 12.30 pm, followed by Defence Housing Australia and the Department of Veterans' Affairs until 3.30 pm, and moving to the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio from 3.45pm until 11.00 pm.

Notwithstanding the expectation that a double dissolution election will be called shortly, the committee has fixed 17 June 2016 as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice. The committee also notes that a senator could move a motion in the Senate in the next parliament ordering that responses be provided to questions asked at an estimates hearing in the previous parliament. The committee is required to report to the Senate by 11 May 2016. Senators are asked to provide written questions on notice before the committee reports on 11 May. Witnesses should note that answers cannot be received if the Senate has been dissolved for an election.

Under standing order 26, the committee must take all evidence in public session. This includes answers to questions taken on notice. I remind all witnesses that, in giving evidence to the committee, you are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee, and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee.

The Senate, by resolution in 1999, endorsed the following test of relevance of questions at estimates hearings: any questions going to the operations or financial positions of the departments and agencies which are seeking funds in the estimates are relevant questions for the purpose of estimates hearings. I remind officers that the Senate has resolved that there are no areas in connection with the expenditure of public funds where any person has a discretion to withhold details or explanations from the parliament or its committees unless the parliament has expressly provided otherwise.

The Senate has resolved also that an officer of a department of the Commonwealth shall not be asked to give opinions on matters of policy and shall be given reasonable opportunity to refer questions asked of the officer to superior officers or to a minister. This resolution prohibits only questions asking for opinions on matters of policy and does not preclude questions asking for explanations of policies or factual questions about when and how policies were adopted.

I particularly draw the attention of witnesses to an order of the Senate of 13 May 2009 specifying the process by which a claim of public interest immunity should be raised. Witnesses are specifically reminded that a statement that information or a document is confidential or consists of advice to government is not a statement that meets the requirements of the 2009 order. Instead, witnesses are required to provide some specific indication of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or the document.

The extract read as follows—

Public interest immunity claims

That the Senate—

(a) notes that ministers and officers have continued to refuse to provide information to Senate committees without properly raising claims of public interest immunity as required by past resolutions of the Senate;

(b) reaffirms the principles of past resolutions of the Senate by this order, to provide ministers and officers with guidance as to the proper process for raising public interest immunity claims and to consolidate those past resolutions of the Senate;

(c) orders that the following operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) If:

   (a) a Senate committee, or a senator in the course of proceedings of a committee, requests information or a document from a Commonwealth department or agency; and

   (b) an officer of the department or agency to whom the request is directed believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the officer shall state to the committee the ground on which the officer believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, and specify the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(2) If, after receiving the officer ' s statement under paragraph (1), the committee or the senator requests the officer to refer the question of the disclosure of the information or document to a responsible minister, the officer shall refer that question to the minister.

(3) If a minister, on a reference by an officer under paragraph (2), concludes that it would not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the minister shall provide to the committee a statement of the ground for that conclusion, specifying the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(4) A minister, in a statement under paragraph (3), shall indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee could result only from the publication of the information or document by the committee, or could result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee as in camera evidence.

(5) If, after considering a statement by a minister provided under paragraph (3), the committee concludes that the statement does not sufficiently justify the withholding of the information or document from the committee, the committee shall report the matter to the Senate.

(6) A decision by a committee not to report a matter to the Senate under paragraph (5) does not prevent a senator from raising the matter in the Senate in accordance with other procedures of the Senate.

(7) A statement that information or a document is not published, or is confidential, or consists of advice to, or internal deliberations of, government, in the absence of specification of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document, is not a statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) or (4).

(8) If a minister concludes that a statement under paragraph (3) should more appropriately be made by the head of an agency, by reason of the independence of that agency from ministerial direction or control, the minister shall inform the committee of that conclusion and the reason for that conclusion, and shall refer the matter to the head of the agency, who shall then be required to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

(d) requires the Procedure Committee to review the operation of this order and report to the Senate by 20 August 2009.

( 13 May 2009 J.1941 )

(Extract, Senate Standing Orders)